Canon EOS 70D vs 60D vs 7D vs Rebel T4i (650D) vs Rebel T5i (700D) vs Nikon D7100

July 3, 2013


Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras on a red background

In this article I will talk about the Canon EOS 70D new features and also compare the EOD 70D versus the 60D (replaced older model), Nikon D7100, Canon EOS 7D, Canon Rebel T4i (650D) and Rebel T5i (700D) . The Canon EOS 60D was announced on August 26 2013, the, the 70D on July 2 2013 – that’s almost three years apart. Quite a long time to wait for an updated model. Nevertheless, those who have waited for this camera, didn’t mind waiting, as long as it would be a DSLR camera with innovative features. In this article will see whether or not the waiting was worth it or not.


The Canon EOS 70D is announced at times where Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens cameras are conquering the market by storm, and DSLR cameras are no longer the only options for the enthusiast photographer. Furthermore, some photographers felt that Canon has deceived them when it released the Canon T5i, which almost identical to its predecessor, the Canon Rebel T4i.

It’s more important than ever for Canon to work hard on its next mid-range DSLR camera if it want to continue to hold a large loyal customer base. Photographers are eager for innovation, something that you see on Compact System Cameras, rather than on DSLRs. Having said that, The Canon EOS 6D affordable Full Frame camera was probably the most exciting cameras that Canon introduced in 2012 (Sep 17, 2012). This opened a door for many enthusiasts that couldn’t afford getting the 5D Mark III or Mark II, to upgrade to a Full frame camera for a relatively low price.

I am among those who owned the Canon EOS 60D and I had a lot of time shooting and like many other photographers, I really enjoyed shooting with this camera.  As for the time of writing, the Canon EOS 60D is positioned thirds in Amazon best sellers in the DSLR category, but read this, the Canon EOS 70D after less than 24 hours since launch is already in the second position, just one place shy from the Canon Rebel T3i that still firmly holds the first position.

I am very excited to review and compare the Canon EOS 70D here, and I am sure there are many photographers who have been waiting for this model to appear. I will also discuss the reasons why you should or shouldn’t upgrade to the 70D from the 60D.

So let’s start our interesting journey and see what awaits us in this new exciting camera from Canon. We’ll first take a look at the 70D key features and then continue to our comparison where you can clearly see how the 70D compares to the 60D, 7D, Rebel T4i (EOS 650D), Rebel T5i (EOS 700D) and Nikon competitive mid-range offering, the Nikon D7100.

Canon EOS 70D Key Features

The Canon EOS 70D, as of the time of writing, is Canon’s latest mid-range SLR camera. It is aimed towards the enthusiast photographer who can take advantage of its advanced capabilities as a stills and/or HDSLR camera.

Camera Design – 70D vs 60D

The 70D looks very similar to the 60D on the outside, just a bit smaller in size.  There are of course a few editions to the new model.  First of all the top mode dial has far fewer options, 10 of them instead of 15. The 60D had many scene modes including the video function on the dial. Furthermore, the top dial can now rotate continuously rather having a start and end position. Furthermore, the 70D mode dial has a more rugged texture which make it easier to hold an rotate the wheel.

Canon EOS 70D vs 60D size comparison

Canon EOS 70D compared to 60D (click to view on

Canon also added an AF area expansion button between the shutter release button and the scroll wheel.  Now it’s easy to select a different AF area without moving your eye from the viewfinder.

The built-in stereo microphone is now positioned at the top near the hot-shoe, in both sides, compare to the 60D where the its built-in mono mic is positioned at the right side (when looking from the front) near the mode dial wheel. Apart from that, all the other buttons are layout the same as the 60D. From my own experience, I can tell you that the 60D was very comfortable to hold. Felt very sturdy and firm. The perfect balance between size and convenience and make it easier to hold and balance the camera when mounting long and heavy lenses.

At the back you now have a Live View / Video mode lever with a Start/Stop button, which you can use to start Live View mode, as well as start and stop movie recording. On the 60D you had the movie recording mode as part of the top dial options and a single button that can either turn off Live View mode or act as a stop / start button for recording movies. The Menu and Info buttons moved to the top left side, the Playback and Quick Control buttons are now there instead, making slightly more room for your thumb at the back of the camera.  The delete button is positioned on the right side below the multi-controller.

Having said that, some of you might consider getting the new BG-E14 battery grip. This is a completely new battery grip model that was designed specifically for the 70D camera. If you have large hands you will immediately feel the difference. When I bought my 60D I also purchased a battery grip and there was a big difference in terms of ergonomics, the camera just felt better and more secure in your hands and helped balance my Canon EF 70-200mm F4L lens, which long and quite heavy lens if you compare it to the 18-55mm Kit lens.

Digic 5+ Processor and Newly Developed Sensor with Dual Pixel AF

The sensor is where the most innovative features take place. For those who don’t know, Canon makes and manufactures its own sensors. The 70D features a brand new and innovative 20.2-megapixels CMOS Sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF. The sensor utilizes 14-bit A/D conversion and can shoot at native ISO from 100 to 12800 and can be expanded up to 25600.

What is ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ Technology?

This is a brand new technology, in which each pixel in the image uses two photodiodes (right and left side). This means that the two photodiodes can be used together as a phase-detect AF sensor and therefore all the pixels in the sensor function as phase-difference detection AF sensors. This is the only camera on the market that all of its pixels can be utilized as on-chip phase-detection. This means that the 70D sensor actually has 40.3 million photodiodes. When the camera captures an image, the two photodiodes signals are used to construct one single pixel in the final image, so theoretically there is no loss of light during this process.

This unique sensor design helps the camera to autofocus much faster and more accurately in live view and when recording videos, where the mirror of the camera is up, and therefore the original phase-detection sensor near the viewfinder are not in used. In other on-chip phase detection solution, masking technique has been used to only detect light from one or other edge of the lens. This is why only few phase-detection pixels has been used in order to prevent a high degradation of image quality – masking means that only half the amount of light is used. This can also hurt the focus performance too as it needs more light to function properly.

Canon solved those problems by splitting the pixel into two independent physical photodiodes for each pixel site. The advantages are much higher phase-detection AF area coverage (80% of the shooting area horizontally and vertically) that allows the AF to work with aperture down to f/11 and can focus in very dim light.

The next video will give you a short tour and explains how the Dual Pixel CMOS AF actually works.

The result is instant focus across a wide shooting area, whether you are shooting with Live View or in movie mode.

On top of that, The 70D features Canon’s latest DIGIC 5+ image processor (DIGIC 5 plus) that was improved over the older generation. It features a much better noise-reduction algorithms and helps the camera produce brilliant images in low-light. DIGIC 5+ image processor utilizes two 4-channel A/D converters and gives the camera the processing power it needs to shoot at 7.0 fps in full resolution and real-time compensation for  chromatic aberrations for both stills and videos.  The new processor will boost the camera’s performance in almost every aspect, and it’s another important addition that the 70D has over the 60D which uses DIGIC 4 processor. This is the same image processor used on the Canon EOS 6D.

Above all that, the 70D features 19-point AF (all cross-type). The 70D was designed from the ground up to give photographers a more advanced and precise photographic tool to meet the demands of enthusiast photographers and videographers.

Build-in Wi-Fi

The Canon EOS 70D now features Wi-Fi wireless connectivity. This connectivity can be used for:

  • Viewing images directly onto a DLNA HDTV display
  • Control the camera settings and shutter remotely using your Android (2.3 or later) or iOS (5.0 or later) Smartphone (need to download the free Canon EOS Remote app and install it on your mobile device)
  • Exchange images between two Wi-Fi-enabled cameras
  • Print image on a WiFi compatible printer
  • Share your images on Facebook and Twitter using Canon Image Gateway web service
  • Transfer images to your mobile device for backup or to share them using your already installed apps
  • Download the images to your home computer

This is a feature that is very common these days on point-and-shoot cameras, but we can see it penetrating the enthusiast camera’s market, including in Large-sensor compacts, CSC and DSLR cameras.

ALL-I or IPB Full HD Video Recording

A great addition to the Canon 70D is giving the Videographer an option choose the video compression, whether to use Intraframe (ALL-I) or Interrame (IPB) compression. ALL-I will provide better image quality but will result in a large video file size. In ALL-I the compression is applied to each frame individually. In IPB the compression is applied across frames, taking an advantage of the part of the image that don’t change to compress the video as whole even further. With IPB you get much smaller file size.

ALL-I is optimized for video editing, and it’s the preferred compression by professional and enthusiast videographers. It’s great to have this option available on the 70D.

Other Features

Other Features included are:

  • Vari-angle (up to 180-degrees rotation) 3:2 3.0-inch 1040K-dots Clear View II LCD touch screen (Capacitive type, support multi-touch gestures like swiping and pinch to zoom) – same responsiveness as in mobile phones. The display has an anti-reflective coating to minimize reflections in bright daylight and also a smudge-resistant coating to minimize the appearance of fingerprints on your display, especially useful with a touchscreen
  • 98% coverage / 0.95x magnification Intelligent eye-level Viewfinder (also found on the EOS-1D X, EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 7D)
    Uses a transparent LCD, users can view focus points, image data and guidelines on top of the image, among the features are: Shutter speed, ISO speed, Flash ready, FE lock, Highlight tone priority, Electronic level and Grid
  • Auto Lighting Optimizer
  • 63-Zone dual layer metering system
  • In-camera HDR (three exposures) – Great for landscape shots
  • Multiple-exposure mode (up to 9 exposures) – exposures are stacked one over the other
  • Integrated Speedlite transmitter to wirelessly control external Canon Speedlite EX flash units
  • Full HD movie recording at 1080p30/24 and 720p60 + Built-in stereo mic and mic input port to connect an external stereo microphone
  • HDR backlight control
  • Creative Filters
  • Intelligent Auto Mode
  • Multi-shot noise reduction
  • In-camera lens aberration correction
  • Feature Guide (for beginners)
  • Compatible with GP-E2 GPS receiver
  • Image rating
  • Support for SDHC/SDXC and Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) cards
  • RAW + JPEG
  • In-camera RAW processing
  • Embedded Time Code for videographers who are using multiple camera shoot, and can be useful later in post production
  • Up to 10x digital zoom in movies
  • Top LCD panel
  • AF Microadjustment

The Canon EOS 70D is really a unique and an evolutionary DSLR camera. I wasn’t expecting Canon to deliver an innovative feature, not in a mid-range camera, and Canon really caught me by surprise here. A great arsenal of useful features that makes this camera a tremendous DSLR camera for both stills and videos.  The DSLR photographers community was eager to innovation, and this time it’s Canon’s turn to deliver the goods.

The Canon EOS 70D is even better than the Canon EOS 7D in every way. The 7D was announced on September 1 2009, and as you can see, it desperately needs an update.

The Canon EOS 70D will be available starting September 2013.

Canon EOS 70D vs 60D vs 7D vs T4i (650D) vs T5i (700D) and Nikon D7100

Now that you are familiar with many Canon EOS 70D key features, it’s now time to jump straight to our comparison. I’m going to compare the 70D against another five DSLR cameras. The T4i and T5i are very much alike, so I will put them in a single column but state when there is a difference between the two models.  So although we are comparing 5 DSLR cameras, I will do my best to make it as simple as possible for you to understand the differences without getting too confused.

5 DSLR cameras: Canon 60D, 60D, T5i and T4i, Nikon D7000

Click to view large on camera size website

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The above spec / features side by side comparison table clearly shows us the cons and pros for each camera.  Let’s sum up the advantage for each camera according to the above table.

Canon EOS 70D Advantages

  • Second highest sensor resolution
  • Only camera with Dual-Pixel AF technology where all pixels acts as phase-detection sensors
  • Digic 5+ image processor
  • 1 Stop maximum ISO speed higher than the D7100 (6400)
  • 19-point AF (all cross-type) – same as 7D but less than the Nikon’s (51-points)
  • 63 Zone dual-Layer Metering system, better than the EOS 60D and T5i/T4i, doesn’t take distance into account like the D7100 metering system
  • Best display in the group in terms of all its features
  • Touch sensitive Screen with multi-touch support (not available on the 60D, 7D or D7100)
  • Weather-resistant (same as the 7D, should be around the same as the D7100 – didn’t check though)
  • Pentaprism Intelligent Viewfinder – behind 7D and doesn’t offer 100% coverage as the D7100
  • Second fastest burst speed of 7fps (7D better with 8 fps and much larger buffer)
  • Choose between IPB or ALL-I compressions in video mode
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 170-degrees wide viewing angles for the back LCD (better than the 60D and 7D, same as the T5i/T4i and D7100)
  • Multiple Exposure Modes (Laying & HDR)
  • AF Microadjustment – also available on the 7D and 7100)
  • 1/8000 sec maximum shutter speed (faster than the T4i and T5i)
  • 1/250 Flash X Sync speed (faster than the T4i and T5i
  • Built-in stereo mic (not available on the 60D or 7D)

Canon EOS 60D Advantages

  • 63-Zone dual-layer metering system, same as the Rebel T5i / EOS 700D, T4i / 600D and 70D
  • Dual anti-reflection coating and Anti-scratch hard coating for the Screen
  • Pentaprism viewfinder but doesn’t offer the same 100% coverage as the 7D and D7100, also smaller than the 7D
  • 1/8000 sec maximum shutter speed (faster than the T4i and T5i)

Canon Rebel T5i (EOS 700D) / Rebel T4i (EOS 600D) Advantages

  • Highest native maximum ISO speed (as all the other cameras except the D7100 that has native ISO 6400)
  • Touch sensitive Screen with multi-touch support (not available on the 60D, 7D or D7100)
  • 170-degrees wide viewing angles for the back LCD (better than the 60D and 7D, same as the 70D and D7100)
  • Built-in stereo mic (not available on the 60D and 7D)
  • Smallest and lightest in the group
  • Cheapest in the group

Canon EOS 7D Advantages:

  • Dual DIGIC 4 image processor (yes doesn’t employ the latest NR algorithms and sheer processing power as the DIGIC5+ image processor)
  • 19-point AF (all cross-type) – same as 7D but less than the Nikon’s (51-points)
  • Weather-resistant (same as the 60D, should be around the same as the D7100 – didn’t check though)
  • Best eye-level viewfinder in the group (100% coverage / 1.0x magnification)
  • 1/8000 sec maximum shutter speed (faster than the T4i and T5i)
  • 1/250 Flash X Sync speed (faster than the T4i and T5i
  • Fastest burst speed and larger buffer in the group (big difference compared to the other cameras)
  • Built-in stereo mic (not available on the 60D and 7D)
  • AF Microadjustment – also available on the 70D and 7100)
  • The largest in the group (some see this as an advantage)

Nikon D7100

  • Highest sensor resolution in the group (24.1MP)
  • Latest generation EXPEED 3 image processor
  • AF sensor with the largest amount of AF points (51)
  • The only Light metering sensor in the group that takes distance to calculate the exposure (using 3D color matrix metering)
  • Highest resolution LCD and largest in in the group (diagonal measurement), but doesn’t have a touchscreen
  • 170-degrees wide viewing angles for the back LCD (better than the 60D and 7D, same as the 70D and T4i/T5i)
  • Weather-resistant
  • 100% coverage eye-level viewfinder (same as the 7D)
  • 1/8000 sec maximum shutter speed (faster than the T4i and T5i)
  • 1/250 Flash X Sync speed (faster than the T4i and T5i
  • Built-in stereo mic (not available on the 60D and 7D)
  • Only one in the group to offer a Dual SD card slot
  • Multiple exposure mode (auto HDR) – same as the 70D
  • AF Microadjustment – also available on the 7D and 70D)

This sums up the key-feature advantages in relative to the other models.

You can see what makes the 70D such an attractive camera compare to the other models. Yet it lacks the D7100 dual card slot, 100% coverage viewfinder and headphone jack – features that many enthusiasts would have wanted to get with the EOS 70D.


The Canon EOS 70D is an innovative DSLR camera that many enthusiast photographers and videographers would love to put their hands on. The new Dual-Pixel AF as a very welcomed feature to help videographers get faster and  a more accurate focus, especially when shooting subjects that move inside the frame. The Wi-Fi, excellent touch-sensitive display, AF micro-adjustment feature and fast burst, are only part of what makes the EOS 70D such an attractive offer. No doubt that the 70D eclipses the 7D right now and 7D owners desperately need a 7D replacement.

The EOS 70D certainly is a worthy upgrade from the 60D, but you shouldn’t rule out the option to upgrade to a full frame DSLR like the 6D, or even check our Canon rumor websites to see if there is a hint of a 7D replacement sometime in the near future.

The Canon Rebel T4i / T5i, those two still remain very attractive cameras due to their lower price tag and video features.  The 70D brings advanced features that make it an excellent upgrade for people who already own the Rebel T4i (600D) or T5i (700D) for quite some time and have a need to upgrade to a more advanced camera.

The Nikon D7100 still remains a very competitive model in the mid-range DSLR market. It has a 100% coverage OVF, highest resolution sensor, most advanced AF sensor in the group, dual SD card slot and headphone socket for monitoring video sound as you are recording your videos.  Many people will even find the D7100 to be an all-around more attractive package than the 70D, depends on their personal preferences of course.

What I would have liked to have on the 70D is dual SD card slot,  100% coverage OVF and a headphone jack, but unfortunately those aren’t available on the 70D.
Whatever camera you buy, make sure you thoroughly understand its core features and how it compares to other models. I think that the 70D will be among the most popular DSLR cameras in 2013, and Canon really did an amazing job this time.  Thank you Canon!

If you like this comparison article, please don’t forget to share it with your friends and LIKE it on Facebook, so other people can find it and read it as well. Thanks for reading and see you on the next article. If you have any questions or comments, please do so by leaving your comment in the comment section below.

*** I will update this comparison when more 70D sample images become available, so we can compare the high ISO performance of all the devices.